DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Fort Walton Beach
A DUI charge without an injury is serious enough. If you were in an accident where someone was hurt, the police probably took a blood sample from you, or your blood was drawn at the hospital. Either way, if the results indicate that you were under the influence, you will likely be charged with DUI with Serious Bodily Injury. As serious as this charge is, it is important for you to realize that you have options. Options that could mean the difference between you going free or spending the next 5 years in prison.
I am a criminal defense attorney in Fort Walton Beach. I have been practicing DUI & Criminal Defense since 2001 and this is my only area of practice. If you want to see for yourself whether I am the right choice for you, give me a call at (850) 243-6097.
Florida law regarding DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
Before discussing the specifics of what is required to prove serious bodily injury in Fort Walton Beach DUI charges, it’s helpful to understand the definition of a “standard” DUI. That definition is found in Florida Statute chapter 316.193:
“a person is guilty of driving under the influence if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and the person is under the influence of alcohol or chemical substances to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired.”
What level of injury is required to prove Serious Bodily Injury?
Under Florida law, Serious Bodily Injury (SBI) is injury to any person, even the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
This means that even an injury to your own body can be used to allege Serious Bodily Injury.
Fort Walton Beach DUI with Serious Bodily Injury Penalties
This charge is a third degree felony offense. Possible penalties include:
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- 5 years on probation.
- $5,000.00 fine
- Suspension of your driver’s license for at least 3 years.
- Under the Florida Punishment Code Scoresheet, DUI with SBI is a level 7 offense which requires a minimum sentence of 21 months in prison unless the judge finds a valid basis for a Downward Departure, which gives a reduction in the sentence.
- The level of injury can elevate the sentence;
- If the level of the victim’s injury is classified as slight injury, the minimum sentence will be 24 months.
- If the victim’s injuries are characterized as moderate, the minimum sentence will be 34.5 months.
- If the victim suffered severe injury, the minimum sentence you face will be 51 months.
Get the help you need after a DUI with Serious Bodily Injury arrest
As you can see from the penalties listed above, this charge has the potential to change your life forever. Now is the time to do something about it before it is too late and you are standing in front of a judge facing a prison sentence. You do not have to fight this battle alone.
If you have been charged with DUI with Serious Bodily Injury in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. I will be glad to talk with you about your options and what we can do to help.